What Is Global Health Funding?
‘Global Health Funding’ is a process of financing worldwide healthcare systems. Many countries and health organizations work in collaboration (as donors, managers & distributing bodies) to accomplish the task.
Global Health Funds Statistics
The Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organization of Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) and the European Commission are the mainstays of global health finance.
Global healthcare funding has seen a surge over the last few decades, i.e., the Development Assistance for Health (DAH) grew from $2.5 billion in 1990 to almost $14 billion in 2005. In 2011, funds for global health touched $35 billion with the United States providing at least one-third of this total. (Christopher et al., 2011)
In 2013, the global funding trends were estimated to be round about the US $38 billion, which was a great global achievement. In 2017, the world reached the highest health funding, i.e., almost US $40 billion while in 2018, it reduced to an estimated $37 billion. In 2016, the DAH global health spending was $8 trillion with a per capita spending of US $5252 in high-income countries, $491 in upper-middle-income countries, $81 in lower-middle-income countries, and $40 in low-income countries (The Lancet, 2019).
Let us now see the funding stats from different fields of biomedical sciences.
Funding Status of Oncology
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the economic impact of cancer is significant and is rising. The total annual economic cost of cancer in 2010 was estimated to be $1.16 trillion. The nexus of cancer research policymaking is the interplay between funding and activity (Seth, Grant, & Richard, 2008). In the first comparative study of European and USA spending on cancer research, Eckhouse and Sullivan (2006) found the latter outspent the former 3 to 5 times as a percentage of GDP or per capita.
In 2017, the National Institute of Cancer (NCI) spent about:
- $545 million for breast cancer research
- $320 million for lung cancer
- $233 million for prostate cancer
- $178 million for pancreatic cancer, &
- $108 million for ovarian cancer
Meanwhile, the National Institute of Health received about US$5.6 billion healthcare research reflecting an increase of 7% (or $368 million) from the previous fiscal year.
Funding Status of HIV/AIDS & Tuberculosis (TB)
In 2010, the HIV/AIDS dedicated funds were $11.2 billion, which rose up to $11.8 billion in 2012. However, the time period between 2014–2018 has seen a decline of about $9.5 billion in AIDS research, which is a cause of concern for lower income countries and the Funding Authorities.
On the other hand, the funds for TB research hit the maximum in 2017 of $1.9 billion but saw a decline to $1.6 billion in 2018.
Funding Status of Malaria
The Global Fund is an organization that provides nearly 60 percent of international financing for malaria and has invested more than $10.5 billion in malaria control programs in more than 100 countries from 2002-2017.
From the year 2000 to 2014, the number of deaths caused by malaria globally declined by nearly 50%, which means that an estimated 6.8 million lives were saved by an investment of $2.3 billion – the amount which is expected to be doubled by the year 2020 as targeted.
However, news of the past was not as encouraging. In 2017, only $2.4 billion was invested in malaria control (which is less than half of the year 2020 funding target).
In 2018, health funding for Malaria was even lesser than the previous year, i.e., $2.1 billion. Nonetheless, Paraguay and Uzbekistan were certified malaria-free in 2018, hence, achieving their milestone.
The WHO’s Global Malaria Program calls for malaria annihilation from at least 35 countries by the year 2030. Still, total domestic and international funding for malaria is inadequate to achieve WHO global targets in burden reduction by 2030. (